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stepping stones of maritime history


Barbestein was built in the Netherlands by the Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch East India Company, in 1717, and made five successful voyages to the Dutch East Indies and back to the Netherlands.

On 23 October 1735, Barbestein sank on the cliffs in the bay of Galle because she had lost all of the anchors. The cargo was saved, except for the sugar and saltpeter in the bottom of the hold. The entire crew was also saved.


Most likely a Dutch East Indiaman (spiegelretourschip) based on known specifications.

Built: in 1717 for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) Chamber: Zeeland

Wharf: Middelburg

Length: 160 ft

Complement: 220-300

Tonnage: 1100 tons, 550 lasts

Captain on final voyage: Jan van Est

A painting of a Dutch East Indiaman off Hoorn before 1690.

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